A friend of mine here in Toronto told me this week that Trinidad and Tobago needs change, meaning change in the political system and the parties in charge of the government. I had to tell him the majority of people in the TT I know neither need nor want such change.
If you find this surprising, let’s look at the numbers by race and known political affiliation as the only legitimate stats for the system.
The ruling People’s National Movement is known to command overwhelming support from black people, by which I mean the Africans with 36.3% of the population and similar support from the mixed race people that are 24.2% of the people. That’s 60.6% of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, a clear majority by any count. Add to that the 5% of the people that the PNM has always taken from the Indians, which totals 65.6% for them.
Does this 65.6% base support of the PNM need change or want change from the PNM as the dominant force in TT politics and governing party for nine terms? No way, Jose, a thousand times no.
The United National Congress (UNC) is the only other political party of note. It’s support now and in the past with predecessors like the United Labour Front and the Democratic Labour Party has come from the Indians who have 37.6% of the population and almost no support from the blacks. Take away the 5% lost to the PNM, and give the UNC its share of no more than 30.6% of the population.
Does the UNC gang want change? Do they need political change of the governing party? Oh yes indeed they do. They want it bad but they just don’t have the voter base to get it.
And that does it for the political equation for change or more of the same. We have some other tiny population groups like the French creole Europeans, the Chinese and Syrians but not enough numbers to matter.
Did I forget any political groups with significant support? The Elections and Boundaries Commission has noted 17 other parties contesting the 2020 election, and all anxious for change but sadly none of them in any position to grab the Whitehall baton.
Let’s see now, Progressive Empowerment Party, Trinidad Humanity Campaign, New National Vision, Movement for Social Justice, Congress of the People, Movement for National Development, Progressive Democratic Patriots, National Coalition for Transformation, Progressive Party, Independent Liberal Party, Democratic Party of Trinidad and Tobago, National Organization of We the People, Unrepresented Peoples Party, Trinidad and Tobago Democratic Front, The National Party, One Tobago Voice, and Unity of the People. Not one seat in the elections for the lot of them is the likely result.
Is there anything more to say? Glad you agree and it’s time to end this report. The cash register says No Change Today.